Interview with Lois Sonstegard, Author of Start With Collaboration

29 May 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Start With Collaboration?

I am a serial entrepreneur. I love to start and grow businesses. Business growth is the engine that drives our economy. In recent years, there are developments which have made business difficult. We see retail shuttering. We see mass layoffs. Grocery chains and large retail stores are operating with precariously low profit margins making them unable to bend and be resilient to economic changes. Venture capital is less available, impeding development and growth of businesses. Our supply chain system is broken and expensive. Small and medium sized companies find it increasingly difficult to compete with large, cash right companies. This the world in which we all operate. On the one hand, it seems overwhelming and on the other hand, I see massive opportunities. Why? Because I see there is a another way to do business; that is, collaboration. I first learned this growing up in Japan. Following World War II, Japan did not have an abundance of money and resources. They knew, however, that they wanted to grow and become a meaningful player on the world stage of business. They did this by developing a brilliant collaborative model for business. As a result, they became leaders in the world in electronics and autos. I know we can adapt this model to strengthen our businesses so they thrive. I am passionate about bringing this thinking to my colleagues and friends. It transforms how we work and the results can be incredible. This passion is what drove me to write this book.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Start With Collaboration, what would they be?

Richard Wagner’s “Fire”.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

A good mystery is unbeatable! I enjoy 18th and 19th century philosophers. They make me question my thinking to broaden it and test my underlying assumptions. To write, I like to write about what I have learned that can make things better and us better as human beings. Both of these are related, but also different.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Real estate investing, Tolkien books, “Okay Now What?: How To Be Resilient When Life Gets Tough”, “Gentleman in Moscow”.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Writing about the obstacles to collaboration. It is easy to get side tracked and stopped when starting something new and it doesn’t have to be that way. We just have to be open to them.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Coffee beside me and surrounded by books.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.” Dag Hammarskjold.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Strengthen your business, grow profit through collaboration.


Lois Sonstegard is the author of the new book Start With Collaboration

Connect with Lois Sonstegard

Author Site



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